Do not believe everything good you hear about the sun. The round, yellow-faced ball, for all of its kindness to the folks at California, damages our pools faster than rats on a cheese. Did you know that, in the absence of a buffer, the sun destroys nearly 90% of your pool’s free, unstabilized chlorine within few hours? By so doing, your intended sanitizer evaporates before it even commences its cleansing.
At the end of this piece, you’d have known:
- What pool stabilizer actually is
- Why your stabilizer has to be balanced
- How much stabilizer to add to saltwater pool
- How to add stabilizer to saltwater pool
So, here we go!
What Is Pool Stabilizer?
Pool stabilizer, also famed as pool conditioner or cyanuric acid, is a chemical additive that creates stabilized chlorine when mixed with trichlor (chlorine tablets or stick) or dichlor (shock). Stabilized chlorine stays longer in your pool, having been conditioned to resist the sun’s effects far longer than ordinary chlorine.
Put simply, pool stabilizer helps your chlorine stay longer in water. If you are looking for a more specific explanation, here: cyanuric acid binds to chlorite ions upon addition, making them formidable against the ultraviolet sun rays. Without pool stabilizer, the sun would easily break through the chlorite ions, causing premature evaporation. With pool stabilizer, your chlorine is a super soldier; without it, it is ordinary.
Why Balance Your Pool Stabilizer?
Like all chemicals, an excessive use of cyanuric acid attracts negative consequences while an inadequate usage reduces its potency.
When your pool stabilizer is insufficient for the pool, your chlorine will evaporate within a couple of hours and, consequently, leave your pool vulnerable to algae and bacteria growth. I suppose this is a pool no one wants to be in.
On the other hand, if the usage of pool stabilizer is above the recommended level, the chlorine is overwhelmed and, ironically, rendered ineffective. This means that instead of strengthening the chlorite ions, cyanuric acid weakens them. Simply put, it performs the exact opposite of its purpose.
How Much Stabilizer to Add to Your Saltwater Pool
Now, having recognized the consequences of improper usage of pool stabilizer, it becomes very important to know the right dosage to include to your chlorine.
There are different opinions among professionals on the ideal CYA level in your pool. But, having been a pool owner for a decade and always maintained the right level, I strictly stick to what’s worked for me. The general rule is to ensure that the level lies in-between 30 ppm and 50 ppm. Depending on the pool’s level, the suitable figure could be 35 ppm or 45 ppm; it honestly depends.
Some may argue that the CYA level could be up to 75 ppm. I wouldn’t recommend that at all. 90% of the time, this would result to chlorine lock, a situation in which your pool tests negative for chlorine although you have added plenty of it.
The suggestion here is to do constant water tests in order to ensure that the level remains below 50 ppm.
How to add Stabilizer to your Saltwater Pool
You weren’t considering adding your stabilizer directly to your pool, were you? I hope not. The CYA mixture contains acid, and therefore may cause skin irritation or some damage to your pool liner if directly added.
The safer option is to first dissolve in a warm bucket of water before adding to your pool. I would recommend pouring at the edges of the pool rather than into its general surface.
I insist, never add chemicals directly to your pool!
As long as your pool is outdoor, you can’t ignore the relevance of pool stabilizer. I mean, I’m not sure you want your family in a pool with bacteria and algae. At the same time, remember to keep things balanced otherwise you might be skinny-dipping in a pool with 90% chlorine level, all thanks to Chlorine Lock.